The Canadian premiere of the hit, two-part play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was originally set to begin preview performances in Toronto at the end of October, has been pushed back to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Producers David Mirvish, Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender made the announcement on Thursday – the first evidence that the impact of the coronavirus on the country’s live entertainment industry will continue beyond the summer and well into the fall.
“We are closely monitoring the continuously evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and the orders and recommendations made by Public Health Ontario and Toronto Public Health, as well as the recommendations made by officials in the cities and countries where much of the magic of Cursed Child is made,” the producers said in a statement.
“We understand that this delay is disappointing – but it is necessary for us to deliver this spectacular production to audiences on a schedule we feel we can confidently, successfully and safely adhere to, while also fulfilling our commitment to the cast and company, and theatre staff.”
While the prohibition on mass gatherings may well be over by the time Cursed Child was set to welcome its first audiences on Oct. 23, the Tony- and Olivier-winning stage show – which David Mirvish has called “the largest undertaking Mirvish Productions has ever done” – is a large and complex production that requires many months of preparatory work and rehearsal involving an international group of artists before it has its first preview performance.
While the cast of the Toronto production announced in March is entirely Canadian, the creative team led by English director John Tiffany is mostly based in Britain. And the Ed Mirvish Theatre on Yonge Street where the production is set to play was to undergo substantial renovations once the touring production of Hamilton, which shuttered early last month due to the pandemic, moved out.
New on-sale and opening dates have not yet been set for Cursed Child, but the producers said the play’s website and social media channels will be updated with that information “as we have it.”
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